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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did you know that the Saudi government is in debt? Me either until I read this book!, December 7, 2006
This review is from: Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy (Paperback)
1.) I think you will glean far more timely knowledge by reading this book rather than the Pulitzer prize winning `The Prize : The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power' written by Daniel Yergin. However, at the time I am sitting down to write Twilight in the Desert's review - The Prize had 112 reviews and a 4 1/2 star average. I read The Prize. My suggestion would be to buy the DVD. This book is a spine tingler!

2.) This book will give you a Ph.D. in Saudi Arabian oil discovery & production. You will learn that oil was first discovered in the 1940's. You will discover that, contrary to what you might assume, oil is not ubiquitous; instead, being present only in a small percentage of Saudi Arabian land mass. Nowhere on Earth has more money been invested nor more state-of-the-art subterranean mapping technology been applied than in the ongoing search for oil on the Arabian peninsula. And yet, the last noteworthy oil discovery took place over 40 years ago! Let there be no question that Saudi Arabia's Northeastern territory represents the highest concentration of hydrocarbons discovered to date.

3.) You'll learn the name of the each oil field (the World over) that qualified as being "super giant." This categorization implies that the reservoir was (or is) capable of sustained production of at least 500,000 barrels of crude per day. You'll discover that finding a super giant does not happen every day. You'll discover that a country is fabulously fortunate to discover a (1) super giant within its territory. And then you'll appreciate the fact that (3) super giant oil reservoirs have been found to reside inside Saudi Arabian territory. The king of king super giant of super giant is a Saudi oil reservoir named Ghawar. Ghawar produces 4,500,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The king of all offshore oil fields named Safaniya, which produces 1,500,000 barrels a day. And the king of king in terms of quality (light sweet) and behavior(super K zones) of any oil field on Earth, they have Abqaiq. Abqaiq produces over 2,000,000 barrels per day

4.) History has showed a very clear correlation between super giant oil reservoirs. At first they require very little work or technology to produce enormous quantities of crude oil. After they mature, 15-20 years typically, they all require "water-injection" wells to maintain high reservoir pressure. As you can imagine, the crude oil produced begins to have higher and high percentages of water - know in the industry as "water-cut." This requires billions of dollars of capital investment to construct "oil & gas separation complexes." Production costs start infinitesimally small while inversely natural reservoir pressure start incredibly high. As time marches forward these migrate in opposite directions. The production cost of a barrel of crude in Saudi Arabia was literally less than a dollar 4 decades ago, and now it is likely more than $20 and growing.

5.) Finally, you'll learn how Aramco, when run by (7) US oil companies had to fully disclose proper reservoir estimates and actual production numbers. At the handoff between US to Saudi ownership - the Saudis' grossly inflated the carefully calculated reservoir estimates. In part this was due to national pride and an honest belief they'd continue finding more super giants. This is key! At this point in history, reporting oil reserve estimates became totally worthless. In the following decades Saudi Arabia has continued to inflate this estimate while not making a new discovery in (4) decades!

6.) In 2006, a barrel of oil cost as much as $78 - and Gasoline was more than $3. The amount of crude produced every day is only about 1 million barrels more than is absolutely needed. It is this (1) million barrel daily cushion that you will begin to focus on. Ghawar, Safaniya, & Abqaiq have been producing 4.5M, 2.5M, & 2M every day for over 40 years. The Saudi water-cut is said to be 30% and rising. The Saudis are in billions of dollars of debt due to the massive oil water separation complex they had to construct to combat the water-cut. The amounts of fluids being pumped inside Saudi Arabia in a day are titanic. Is the World ready for these ultra-mature fields to lose 50% of their daily production? What about 25%? The answer is "NO!"

7.) I'm not an environmentalist. I'm a regular guy. However, I genuinely enjoyed watching a DVD titled "Who killed the Electric Car." The DVD pushed all the right buttons and made me actually morn the loss. If you see it at your video store - you might want to take a look.
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